the early days

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We’ve gotten into this rhythm lately, after Wren’s early morning feeding.  Brandon rolls out of bed in the groggy dark and heads to the kitchen, and soon after I hear my coffee percolating on the stove.  These first few weeks since Wren was born, most mornings he brings it to me in bed.  I forgot what a luxury this is, to have coffee brought to me in bed. He doesn’t drink coffee (he usually makes chai tea for himself in the mornings) so it’s extra special when he makes my coffee.  And this is how the early mornings have been spent.  Savoring how amazing strong hot coffee tastes after a night of interrupted sleep with a newborn, savoring those few quiet moments before the sunlight wakes up the rest of the children.  I told Brandon the other day that coffee just didn’t taste right the whole pregnancy, but amazingly, instantly after the baby is born it goes back to tasting amazing.  So weird.  I’m glad to have this old friend back again.

So yes, we’ve been in the glorious exhausting newborn fog–seriously, the best of days.  I have been instagramming way too many baby photos and annoying everyone, I’m sure, but getting to know this new little soul and getting to hold and enjoy her really is what fills up my days lately.  Oh, this fourth time around, my perspective is quite different.  I’ve found myself enjoying this season far more than I complain about it, knowing truly how fleeting it is and precious.  I keep feeling absolutely shocked that I have a seven year old (!!!) and how big Noah is, how I feel like the last couple of years with him transforming from a toddler to a big kid has just flown by without me really savoring it.  Everyone says this thing goes by fast, and at the beginning I didn’t really feel like it was true.  But suddenly I’m starting to get it.  I can’t believe how quickly 7 years of parenting has gone by, what a blink it truly has been, and the fact that those years are behind us and never can we live a day of them again nearly breaks my heart.  So, I can’t complain about these newborn days.  My arms ache sometimes from holding her, and I’m afraid I’ll spoil her, but I’m holding her as much as I can, as if the holding can somehow slow down time, weigh it down and make it last.

The smell of milky breath.  The way newborn skin feels.  All the little peach fuzz on her shoulders and back that will disappear soon.  The tawny brown hairs I will soon find falling out on her blankets.  The milky midnight blue newborn eyes that will soon change.  The way she raises her eyebrows with wide open eyes as she focuses on me.  Her papery thin little fingers that reach around for mine to hold as she nurses.

Three weeks have gone by in a blur, and I know in a few weeks time I will hardly be able to remember these early days.  Brandon’s parents came the first week and his mom stayed to help me when Brandon went back to work.  They brought belated Christmas gifts for the kids and they were a huge help.  My parents have also been helping when they can, mom bringing me meals and coming some mornings to help with whatever needs to be done.  We’ve been trying to get back into a routine a bit this week, with me cooking a bit again, cleaning, and keeping on with school with phoebe.  Everything takes longer and is more interrupted than it used to be, but I’m trying to be patient with myself and everyone else, too.

 

philippa ruth

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My dearest little Philippa Ruth
The littlest one, the lovey of our hearts.  You are just pure delight.  There was nothing like seeing you for the first time.  You were born in laughter and momma was full of indescribable joy.  A shock of the darkest and softest hair, eyes so intense and grumpy looked at me as you guzzled milk for the first time.  You just stared at me as if you never wanted to look away.  You were the softest and pudgiest and sweetest little bundle.  Big sister couldn’t wait to get her hands on you, big brother was filled with wonder.  You were the sweetest Thanksgiving marvel.  We loved bringing you home, it was a time filled with all the usual difficulties of adjusting to life with a newborn again.  But in many ways, it was the sweetest newborn season we had experienced thus far.  We knew by now how fleeting this time is, and we didn’t mind spoiling you.  We snuggled with you and held you all the time.  We let you sleep in our bed.  We let you nurse even when it wasn’t quite “time” yet.  We broke all of our own “rules” with silly grins on our faces.  We savored you with great joy.  It has been so fun to get to know you, to see your little personality shine forth.  How you love your older siblings.  How feisty and determined and stubborn you are, all the while being sweet and completely lovable.  Knowing you and loving you and the great + high privilege of raising you is the supreme joy + honor of my life.  You, along with brother and sister, of course.  I am so happy to celebrate this first birthday with you.  I hope it is the happiest birthday!  Know, my sweet girl, how deeply loved you are, especially first + foremost by our great God who with tender foresight placed you in a family where you would be taught the glories + wonders of the Gospel.  I hope we will always be faithful to point you to Him in every year along the way.  Where we fail, He is perfect and unchanging.  May His love for you in Christ Jesus be what undergirds every day of your life and may you shine as a bright light in your generation.

With all my love
Momma

(Pictures taken by my sister-in-law Addie + my friend Elise)

Lately

So, life has been a little busy lately.

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We are all sorts of tired over here, back in the midst of the beautiful crazy that a newborn brings.  The holiday season is upon us, and two of my favorite little people have birthdays coming up the week of Christmas, too.  It’s the best (and busiest) time of year!

We’ve been doing lots and lots of this lately:

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This time around, I know how quickly that little newborn will morph into a toddler.  How soon her little baby fuzz will fall off and these sleepy days will become wakeful (and more rest-less).  I’m being more intentional this time around to just spend time holding and savoring this little one while she’s this little.

A few days after our littlest was born, Thanksgiving was upon us.  Though we really probably shouldn’t have been out with her yet, we couldn’t resist the Thanksgiving feast with our sweet family nearby.  (I told Brandon later, I truly don’t know anyone who cooks as well as my parents do.  We often are treated to dinner at their house, and it is hands down better than any restaurant I’ve ever been to!)

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One of our favorite Christmas traditions is finding a little local Christmas tree farm and chopping down our own tree (see last year’s endeavor here).  Since I was just days out of the hospital, we didn’t feel like we could risk traipsing around with a newborn in December looking for a tree so we went to our favorite nursery nearby to pick it out.  It was still fun!  It is what you make it, right? 🙂

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(the kids decorated their own tiny tree for their room)

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It gets more and more fun every year to celebrate the Christmas season, building memories and our own little traditions and seeing these little ones come alive to the wonder of the season.  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

I’d love to hear your favorite traditions and memories surrounding Christmas!  Hope your holiday season is full with all the fun things that draw families together and make for a warm home, and full of what draws our hearts to Christ and to remember the beauty of His incarnation.

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